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SSTN - Number 173
March 30, 2001

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1) Communion ideas
2) Looking for Craft Projects?
4) Getting new teachers started?
5) Suncatchers
6) Sign language video songs
7) Signing Class?
8) Washing Jesus' Feet
9) Easy piano or a cappella songs
10) Meeting to 'kick off' program?
11) Ideas to bring children to church
12) Crafts from recycled materials

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1) Communion ideas

We are teaching this right now with our 1st-5th graders. Last week I had
the kids start by making their own seder plate (three pipe cleaners cut in
half, made into circles and glued on paper plate, foil square glued on top
of that), then we went into another room and talked about the plagues and
explained what God had the Israelites do to be saved from the angel of death for the last plague. I had them close their eyes and wait one minute in silence and then I talked softly as they kept their eyes closed and I explained what it must have been like that night.
(took this idea from Group's VBS - HolyWord Studios) I then explained that
God commanded that they remember what He had done that night with a feast.
We then moved to another room where I had a table set up with their seder
plates just like a Passover meal. We had all of the elements of the meal
and I took them through the symbolism and had them try each thing. This
was a real hands-on experience! In our small groups the leaders talked with
the kids about how this meal helped the people remember that God had redeemed
set free - them from slavery in Egypt and that the meal was done to
remember, teach, and celebrate. (I got some of the ideas and most of the
information I needed for this week from a book "Celebration! A Time for
Remembering" from Ruth Gosting Ministries)

This week, the kids will begin by taking five wide craft sticks and
writing on one side the scripture Hebrews 9:22 and painting the other side red.
We will then move to another room and describe the Passover feast was the
meal that Jesus was having with his disciples and I will explain the
significance of some of the elements of that meal: 1) During Passover God demanded
that there be no leaven consumed or present in the house. Leaven, or yeast, is
represented in the Bible as sin. Jesus was without sin. 2) three matzos
Father, Son, Holy Spirit. 3) The middle matzo, the Son, was broken
(crucified), wrapped in linen, hidden (buried), and found (resurrected).
4) during the ceremony, a piece of matzo is broken into small pieces and
distributed. This is when Jesus took the bread, blessed it, and gave it
to his disciples, 5) the third cup of wine at the meal is considered the Cup
of Redemption - this is the cup that Jesus gave to his disciples, 6) Jesus
did not drink the last cup, and 7) the lamb shank represented the perfect
lamb slain to save the Israelites from death - Jesus is the perfect lamb
who was sacrificed and died so that we may be saved from death. (Most of
this information came from the following web site: www.amfi.org/passover.htm)
I will then have the kids form their red craft sticks into the shape of a
doorframe and then into the shape of a cross.

We are going to present a short drama that I saw at the Children's
Pastor's Conference and then in our small groups we will talk about how through
Communion we remember, are taught, and celebrate. Most importantly, how
God redeemed, or set us free, from the slavery of sin through Jesus death.
(The craft idea came from Group's "Crazy Clothesline Characters")

I don't know the results yet because we are doing it this week, but I hope
this helps you plan yours. Stacey Kay - Pacific Beach Presbyterian Church
-San Diego, CA

--from SSTN: this is also explained in the book, "Christ In The Passover",
you can purchase in the Holidays section of the Bookstore at

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* NEW-LIFE PUPPET patterns

These puppets turn inside out to change from a tadpole to frog, or a
caterpillar to butterfly puppet. Easy to make and children will learn
about becoming new creatures in Christ! Get a free puppet skit to go with
the puppets at: www.ChristianCrafters.Com
in the Curriculum section!

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2) Looking for Craft Projects?

Dear Christian friends, the church that my family has been attending is
planning their VBS and it is centered on the wordless book theme they have
asked a friend and I to do the crafts for each class so can you please
help me wit any idea that yall may have using the colors of the wordless
book Gold,Black,Red,White,and Green. thanks again. Robbie Baggett.

--P.S. from SSTN: look in the Crafts section at ChristianCrafters.Com
for the "Color's of Christ" Cross - ALSO...If you share an idea directly
with Robbie, please copy to SSTN...otherwise everyone else doesn't benefit
from your knowledge.

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Here is a great website for free Christian graphics for teen-agers and
adults. If you have a color bubble-jet printer, you can copy, enlarge,
(don't forget to reverse), and print out these graphics on iron-on paper.
Then iron them on your favorite shirt.
God Bless, Jo Ellen PS--don't run iron-on paper through a laser printer.
I ruined mine doing that because the paper melts.

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4) Getting new teachers started?

Hi! I am looking for ideas to kick off a group of new Sunday
School teachers. Our church has never had a Coordinator before and as
that person now I want to set a tone of excitement and a real heart for
the kids. Thanks! Julie R. jisrich@juno.com

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5) Suncatchers

I had another idea for sun catchers, you can go to a fabric store (we
found ours at Walmart) and they have clear plastic sheeting that you can
buy for less than $1.00 a yard. We cut ours into pieces about 8x10 and
used different colored permanent markers to trace over pictures.
Depending on the size of the pictures, 1 piece could make quite a few.
These were very easy, and the kids LOVED them! they will stick on the
windows and not leave a mess. There are several thicknesses to choose
from. It has a paper lining that we saved so when they were finished
coloring, they could wrap up in their paper and take home. Hope this
helps someone!

P.S. from SSTN: Check out the "Resurrection 'SON-Catcher' Butterfly" in
the Crafts-Holidays section at ChristianCrafters.Com.

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Do you wanna KIDZOO-SHUFFLE?

Play a fun game of strategy and skill, for children ages 5 and up.
Kids will develop eye-hand coordination, category placement, and depth
perception skills while playing. For more info, go to:
Click on "Products" when you get there!

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6) Sign language video songs

>I am looking for a video of songs that include sign language for our
>children's choir. I've found a couple where I live, but they're for

The official webpage of ALAN ROOT!
This is where i got my sign lang. vidoes they are called saturday all week
long, We do God is Great God is Good, and Thanks to You, the kids love
him and his videos, you can download or listen to the songs on this web
sight if you want too. Diana

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7) Signing Class?

I have been teaching sign language to praise & worship and contemporary
Christian music to our Super Church Group for the last year. It has been
very well received. We have done two performances for the church body at
Easter and Christmas. I would like to know how I can more information on
the Expressive American Signing. I am self taught and started teaching
this to my Super Church Group (ages 7-12) to get them more involved and
because of the emotion that it evokes when you bring the music and the
signing together. It is very powerful. I currently use the Religious
Signing book and the Joy of Signing book as a resource but am interested
in the class. Thank you, Sheri

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8) Washing Jesus' Feet

We did this with our younger kids and it was a great hit! We provided two
pans of fairly thick tempera paint. Each pan was a different color. We
placed the pans at one end of a long piece of paper. I think we used the
paper used for covering banquet tables and just rolled about 12-15 feet.
Have the children remove shoes and socks, roll up pant cuffs and gently
step into the pans. One foot in each pan. Then they walked across the
paper. You could add printed words that say "I can follow Jesus". At the
other end, you wash their feet and this is where you tie in the story of
Jesus washing the disciples feet. You have now created a banner that can
be displayed in their class room or your church hall. Wendi

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9) Easy piano or a cappella songs

There is a book called "Piggy Back Songs" that uses familiar tunes (Old
McDonald, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, etc.) and changes the words to Sunday
school type songs. It's a great book, and I'm sure Sarah can get it for
you through Christiancrafters.com.

We use lots of tapes and CD's. We like the split tracks -- use the voices
until the kids learn the words, then use the track. I have been having
trouble finding jam boxes with a balance knob (needed to split the
tracks). All jam boxes use to have them, now only Karoakes and stereos
have them. Teresa - La Marque, TX

P.S. from SSTN: Thank you Teresa, for remembering my Bookstore. ;o)
I can get most books. If you have the ISBN...it will help me to locate it.

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10) Meeting to 'kick off' program?

Have lots of ideas available and do a mini training session. You might
have a couple of easy to make puppets (mop & broom, funnels, etc), an
object lesson, and a neat way to tell a story. Get the teachers hooked at
the first meeting and it will make every run smoother. You didn't say what
you are planning to do in your Children's Ministry (classes Vs all kids
together), but I have a suggestion. Put your younger kids together
(Toddlers). Combine ages 4-11 (or 12) and have a fast paced class for
them. By putting teachers together, rather than splitting them into one
or two teachers per class, you will see much better results. We did this
6 years ago (shortly after we accepted the pastorate of this church). The
teachers learn from each other, and they feel accountable to each other.
They are always prepared, because they don't want to be the one who let's
everything crash. We assigned each teacher one or more parts (songs,
object lesson, prayer, memory, Bible story, game, review, etc., and wrote
the schedule on a marker board. We moved from part to part with no down
time. We try to change activities every 6-8 minutes (the actual lesson
takes longer, but you need to introduce new visuals, etc., every couple of
minutes to keep their attention). We all helped each other, and we had
several who did puppets. The teachers loved not having to prepare a whole
lesson. We have a monthly planning session and a short weekly meeting. I
also have a form that each teacher has to complete and turn in on Wed.

We have used 2 curriculums -- "Let us Teach Kids" and "Kids POWer Hour."
Both are good, the latter is very inexpensive.
Hope this helps. Teresa - La Marque, TX

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11) Ideas to bring children to church

I am also from a small church (60-80 people) and have faced this same
problem. I think what helped us was when we realized that the kids needed
a change in routine every few months. We had good games, curriculum and
the kids were having fun but there wasn't anything that really drew them
in for the next weeks lesson. Now we have a person that comes in once a
month to tell a bible story (Camp Counseler Cliff). He is a funny,
overgrown kid that has a silly voice and blows his whistle at the kids
when they answer a question. The kids are always asking when Cliff will
be back and we don't tell them what Sunday he is coming so they have
something to look forward to. As for the problem of the parents and
adults of the church not really supporting your class - we had a lesson
about why people should come to church just a
few weeks ago. I used the lesson out of Quick Children's Sermons 2 -
Why did God make mosquitoes? The kids have lots of questions like that and
I think as adults we forget to answer them sometimes. I use lots of
incentives in class - a quiet seat prize, prizes for answering questions,
etc. I don't use them to bribe the kids but I want to be consistent with
them and let them know that good things come from good
behavior. The other thing we have done just recently is to have our own
class T-shirts for the kids. Our theme is CAmp Young Disciples and so I
made T-shirt transfers with our theme on my computer and then bought the
cheap hanes t-shirts. The kids love them! Plus - when they wear them (and
I know they do because the parents tell me) to school the other kids want
to know what Camp is all about. We have gone from 4 or 5 kids to a
consistent 10 to 12 kids in just a month now. This summer we are planning
to take our puppet ministry to one neighborhood a month do a quick puppet
show and invite the kids to church. I have prayed for
an idea that will grow our kids church even more and I think that this is
where God is leading. If we can find a way out of our church walls and
into their neighborhood then we can reach them. I hope this helps you and
I will be praying for your ministry!

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12) Crafts from recycled materials

For great crafts from recycled materials check out www.makingfriends.com
and go to the bottom of the page and select the make it from section and
choose recycled materials. Also check out there many other great craft
ideas too, enter what you have to use and then find great ideas. Also try
www.familycrafts.about.com they have everything from color pages to
bible story links and a great trash to treasure section as you scroll
down. I get many great ideas to adapt from these sites! Enjoy Mary Goemaat

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